Lanternflies causing damage to plants, crops across Long Island

Experts say the insect is not dangerous to pets or people.

Aug 2, 2023, 9:53 PM

Updated 298 days ago

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A destructive insect is back on Long Island, wreaking havoc on residents' plants, trees and flowers.
Denise Romano, of Mineola, says she discovered spotted lanternflies invading her backyard tree.
"I don't like bugs period - they're a bug - I don't like them, no, no," Romano says. "But especially if they destroy stuff. I don't want them."
Arborist Evan Dackow says the insects are originally from Asia and entered the United States through a shipment of stone.
They are now popping up on the East End, North Shore, the Hofstra University campus and Eisenhower Park.
Dackow, who owns Jolly Green Tree & Shrub Care, says they can destroy trees, plants and farm crops.
"They're a food pest," Dackow says. "Our major concerns are wine, apples, grapes, corn. A lot of our East End is filled with corn fields and grape vines."
Experts say the insect is not dangerous to pets or people.
Dackow says destroy them if you see one.
"Step on them," Dackow says. "If there's a heavy infestation, take out your shop vacuum from the garage, suck them up. Knocking them around in there is enough to kill them."
Romano says she hopes insecticides will help get rid of her own infestation.
"They're unwelcomed here," Romano says. "They're not welcomed in my home in any way."


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